Written for Rimworld version 0.16
Animal husbandry can be really useful once your Rimworld colony becomes sufficiently established. After you’ve tamed a breeding pair then you can start an animal farm to produce valuable trade goods as well as consumables such as eggs and milk. And if worse comes to worse you can always slaughter them for meat during a harsh winter.
The problem I found when I started doing this was an unexpected one: feeding the critters! They always wandered around my colony eating the meals that my chefs had spent so long preparing. So how to prevent this?
You can restrict animals to particular places using animal areas. Setting them up is easy… once you know how. I found it quite hard to find at first.
You can either: 1) go into the ‘Architect’ menu then select ‘Zone/Area’. Now click on ‘Expand Allowed Area’ followed by ‘Manage Areas’; or 2) go into the ‘Animals’ menu and click on ‘Manage Areas’.
This is where you actually set up the area: click on ‘New Animal Area’ and rename it if you want (for example ‘Grazers’ or ‘Muffalo’). Now when you go into Architect – Zone/Area your new area will show in the list. Click on it and drag to define the area on the map.
With the area set up you can choose an animal in the Animals menu and tell it to stay in a particular area by clicking on the area name. You’ll probably want to set up different areas for herbivores and meat eaters.
So now the animals will leave your precious Fine Meals alone. But you don’t want them to starve, so you need to make arrangements to feed them
How To Feed Animals
The best way I’ve found to feed your farm animals is to set up a small stockpile zone within the animal area – maybe one or two squares depending on how many animals it’s for. Specify this as being for potatoes, rice etc for herbivores and kibble for meat eaters. Set the storage priority to ‘Critical’ and make sure your main store for these items has a lower priority.
Now your colonists set for Hauling will ensure that there’s always some food in there for the animals, but not too much.
If your animals eat Haygrass then you might also want to sow some in their area.
Just one problem with this: you’re not just feeding your animals, you’re feeding all the local wildlife that will wander in! So you’ll probably want to put a wall around your animal area (remember the doors for your colonists… I’ve made that mistake!)
I like to leave the roof open so that any haygrass can grow, however I cover a small area and define animal sleeping spaces in it, possibly adding some heating/cooling. That provides your animals with some protection from extreme weather.
So there you go, my best tips on feeding your Rimworld animals. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go and plant a field of cows…
(You can find more Rimworld articles at Out On A Rim)